2012-04-24

Bolivian Counter Drug Unit Seizes 307 Kilos of Cocaine

Bolivia’s antinarcotics special force seized more than 300 kilos of cocaine in an operation that thwarted an international illegal business worth an estimated $ 1.8 million, according to police reports. (Archive photo: AFP/ AIZAR RALDES

Bolivia’s antinarcotics special force seized more than 300 kilos of cocaine in an operation that thwarted an international illegal business worth an estimated $ 1.8 million, according to police reports. (Archive photo: AFP/ AIZAR RALDES

Claudia Sánchez-Bustamante/DIÁLOGO

Information from Peru’s antidrug directorate –DIRANDRO, led Bolivia’s counter narcotics special force –FELCN, to the seizure of 307.4 kilos of Peruvian cocaine en-route to Brazil, reported Bolivian news website eldeber.com.bo on April 17.

The operation was two-fold, with an initial interception on a bus traveling from Peru to Bolivia at a highway check-point, where 153.9 kilos were carefully packed in 151 packages hidden within the seats, said the Bolivian news agency.

“Because of the cost, we think that Bolivia is being used as a transit country to meet supply and demand”, said police chief Gonzalo Quezada, FELCN director. He explained that one kilo of cocaine paste in its place of origin (Peru in this case) costs $ 800; the same amount in Bolivia costs $ 1,000, while in Brazil, it reaches the market at $ 6,000, reported ElDia.com.bo.

The second operation took place in Pando, Bolivia’s northernmost department, close to the border with Brazil, where another vehicle was intercepted by a mobile patrol unit and found to be carrying a similar amount of the drug in another 153 carefully masked packages.

Five Bolivian nationals were arrested in both incidents, and three vehicles were seized in addition to the drug, reported police sources on April 16.

Quezada added that the detainees have links to international narco-trafficking organizations operating in Brazil and Peru.

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